Monthly challenge: Revive your ride

2nd April 2012 by

It’s officially spring. And that means lovely cycling weather.

Now perhaps you’re a committed year-round cyclist (if so, hold tight for your challenge). On the other hand if, like many people, you haven’t exactly been riding all winter, before you dust off your panniers and break out the high vis you’ll want to show your bike a little love to get it ready for the road.

So this month, we’re challenging you to revive your ride: get your bike shipshape for spring or help a friend do the same.

If you’ve had a little winter break (and who can blame you? It’s been cold, dark and wet out there) your bike is likely rusting in a shed or languishing in a basement with a puncture that’s gone unrepaired since last November. Sound about right? If this situation doesn’t sound familiar (you hardcore winter cyclist you) then it probably describes at least one friend, family member or colleague – or heck, probably dozens of people you know. Instead of making your own bike road-ready, we’re challenging you to help a friend do the same.

But where to start?

If you’re not a regular DIY expert, never fear – there are plenty of places where you can get bike-fixing help and advice. At bike kitchens spring up around the country, you can rent tools, a bike stand and anything else you need for a pretty small fee. And if things get out of control & you find yourself standing there with a derailleur in your hand and no idea how to reattach it, you’ve got expert advice on hand.

DIY bike repair spaces around the UK

  • The Bristol Bike Project, which has a weekly DIY bike kitchen alongside their more traditional bike repairs and sales
  • The (brand-new) London Bike Kitchen, where you’ll have access to their tool library, space to fix your own bike and even WAG (women and gender-variant)-only classes
  • The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op (which also has locations in Newcastle, Aberdeen, Leeds and Manchester) also run more traditional maintenance courses.

If you don’t have DIY bike repair facilities near you, then you can also take your trusty steed to a regular old bike shop. You never know, they might have maintenance classes or DIY evenings – or be persuaded to start them up. You’d be surprised how far asking nicely can get you!

And if you know of any other DIY bike spaces around the UK, please leave us a comment so we can add ‘em to the list.

Pinhole Pedalling

22nd September 2011 by

A couple of weeks ago, in true Otesha style, I went on a wee cycling adventure.  I joined Sam (LeJog) and Louise (LeJog and East Coast) for week three of their travels, pulling a giant camera (distributed between two heavy trailers) across the south-west.  We battled wind, rain, and a fair few hills to set-up a three-metre-square camera obscura, into which curious passers-by were then invited.  The project used photography to celebrate beautiful and diverse landscapes…..and let’s not forget bikes.  After a week of idyllic rural landscapes we reached Bristol and visited the wonderful Bristol Bike Project

We made lots of bicycle portraits (of bicycles and their owners/creators), you can see them and read more about the ride and our visit on the Pinhole Pedaller blog!

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